I’ve never been a real writer.
I’ve always had ideas and I’ve made a few attempts at writing, but i’m one of those people that plan things out and hardly ever follow through.
I’ve found it hard to get in to the pattern of regularly writing prose, I’ve always been good at creative writing but since finishing school, the lack of practice has left me with little or no confidence.
My recent successful attempt to creative writing was a year ago, when my “Why I love my hair” poster came out.
I didn’t set off thinking I wanted to write a poem (even if i’ve realised now that’s basically what it is) It had all come to me spontaneously and i think that was what made it so beautiful.
So when this year i made my resolution of focusing on creating images for text, I had some initial issues when coming up with a story. I was planning elaborate storylines and plots but finding it hard to execute them.
One day as I was walking along my high street i saw a braid extension on the floor.
Now as a black woman, this is not a shock to me. I grew up having my hair in long braid extensions and i was one of the lucky girls who’s hair was so thick that the extensions had a hard time falling off them.
However this simple situation gave me an idea, a spark. I didn’t know it yet but my brain was already working towards writing a book!
Children’s books are extremely important as a tool to introduce them to literature and also as a means of teaching them about the world.
Most black girls know about hair extensions from their childhood, but children of other ethnicities might not, so why not make it ok to talk about the experiences we’ve had growing up and celebrating our differences?
The writing began on my days off, but it mostly developed on scribbled pages of my sketchbook during my 4 hour commute to and from work. I found it soothing to write early in the morning, as a sort of meditation period before a long hard day at work.
The beauty of children’s books is that they are on average 32 pages long with a wordcount of about 500 to 1000 words. So it didn’t take too long before my story was finally on paper.
I then started the gruelling task of typing it up and editing it, there’s a sneak peak!
"In a land not far away
Lived a little girl called Grey.
Grey was 7, smart and fun,
She lived with her tall dad and her beautiful mum.”
Now writing done and dusted, I’ve just started working on the layout and the character styles.
In the next post as I’ll be discussing Layout and Concept.
Thanks for reading!